Unrest in U.K. over fuel costs
British truckers have threatened to blockade oil refineries unless the government helps to ease the financial pressure they are facing from soaring fuel prices.
Protests have so far included a slow convoy along the M4 motorway in west and south Wales and a demonstration in London.
The British International Freight Association (BIFA), a not-for-profit organization representing U.K. cargo firms across all modes, is urging the government to introduce an essential user rebate and abolish plans to increase fuel duty by two pence per liter from October.
'Such moves would give a very positive signal to freight forwarders and other businesses whose services are so highly dependent on fuel and play such an important role in the U.K. economy and international trade,” said BIFA Director General, Peter Quantrill.
BIFA said its members are at a disadvantage to their European competitors as they pay the highest diesel taxes in Europe.
'Foreign hauliers are offering cross border services with cheaper fuel purchased abroad,” Quantrill said. “Having deferred the planned hike in the March budget, the government should now take the next step and cancel it, as well as introduce an essential user rebate. This would send a very positive message from government to businesses in our sector, which operate on the tightest of margins, and put us in a better position to both facilitate international trade and compete on a level playing field with foreign competition.”